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Posted by on Aug 12, 2011 in Economy, Politics | 8 comments

Quote of the Day: on GOP’s Debating Hopefuls Turning Down Any Kind of Tax Increase

Our political Quote of the Day comes via the New York Daily News’ Joshua Greenman on last night’s debate of Republican Presidential nomination hopefuls in Iowa:

Fried butter on a stick might make the Republican base salivate at the Iowa State Fair. But down the road, it’s not that good for them.

The same could be said of the answers the GOP candidates gave to the public tonight.

Brett Baier of Fox News asked the question directly: If you had on the table a 10-to-1 spending cut to tax increase deal to cut the debt, would you take it?

Nobody on the stage raised his or her hand. Nobody. Not Romney, not Pawlenty, not even Huntsman. This despite the fact that three out of four Americans support a deal that would include tax increases on the wealthiest citizens as part of a broader debt-reduction deal.

And these people want to lead a divided nation? And these people criticize Barack Obama for failing to unite the country?

What continues to be astounding is the total lack of effort on the part of Republicans who want to be working out of the Oval Office to try and appeal to those outside of the party’s base. To be sure, appealing to the base if critical in states such as Iowa and, most assuredly, to get the nomination. But we have truly seemingly moved now to a situation where politics will be a zero sum game: the winning “team” gets all and the rest of the populace will basically have to shove it.

There is little thought to the concept that moving into a troubled 21st century we need to bind up our partisan wounds as a nation — wounds made raw by craven politicians of both parties, new and old news media that build audience by highlighting and encouraging conflict, and by talk show hosts whose job (and this is not their fault) is to create a demographic package to deliver to advertisers (and the way to do that is by the politics of drama, confrontation and tapping listener/viewer anger).

If an independent voter is sorely disappointed with Barack Obama and feels the Democrats are inept, the current Tea Party orientation of the Republican party may make it difficult for he/she to vote for them — or make it easier for he/she to vote against them since you can always hope incompetents learn but know that staunch True Believers seldom waver from their stated course.

The good news for the GOP: Romney once again appeared a slick candidate who could face off Barack Obama and Michele Bachmann still seemed a powerhouse on the tube.

The bad news: 2012 is a year when at this point incumbency or no incumbency Republicans should have a good shot at the White House. In the past two weeks alone Americans’ economic confidence has plunged, a Gallup Poll finds. But Republican’s prospects will be slim if their campaign seems more to win over Rush Limbaugh more than to win over a wide variety of voters who now believe the Obama they thought they’d get is not what what they — or the ailing economy — got.

Change is something many Americans can believe in for 2012; ideological change may not cut it with voters who feel ideology may undermine sound policy and maybe make things worse.